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Celebrity manicurist Chaun Legend is launching a press-on nail collection with Lottie London, and we got all of the details. Legend has created manicure masterpieces for a laundry list of A-list clientele, including the Kardashians (who were his first high-profile celeb clients), Rihanna, Cardi B, Zendaya, and so many more.
"Never in a million years would I ever think that I would have a collaboration or a collection of my own," Legend tells POPSUGAR. "I just never thought it was a possibility. That's why I'm super excited about the Lottie London collaboration, and it's going to be in Walmart. It's so exciting."
Originally from Philadelphia, Legend moved to Kentucky to begin a career in nails with encouragement from his sister. While Legend had a background in art, he'd never done nails before. But it wasn't long before he became known as the "guy that did nail art"," he says. "That's how I built my reputation in Kentucky." After dominating there, Legend moved to Los Angeles to pursue his nail art career, but it wasn't without its challenges. Success wasn't handed to him — Legend worked incredibly hard perfecting his craft before landing his first celebrity client. He quickly built up a rapport while utilizing social media, catapulting him into the role of one of the most sought-after celebrity manicurists.
Ahead, we spoke to Legend about his new collaboration with Lottie London, his top press-on nail tips, and where he gets his inspiration.
Legend's Lottie London collaboration consists of four press-on nail designs all in his signature long, coffin shape. Each design is inspired by his now home, Los Angeles. The first is the "French Twist" set: "It's my most requested, most re-created, and the most popular nail design I've ever done," Legend says. "So ,I figured that it had to go into the collection." Next up is the "Sunset Strip" set, which combines different orange ombré shades, reminding Legend of LA's sunset strip. The third design is the art deco "Emerald City" set, which Legend says is one of his favorites. "I started doing my very first nail art by painting lines patterns; abstract lines that were very clean and simple was my thing." Lastly is the "Baby Girl" graffiti set. "I love graffiti street art," Legend says. "Every time a client asks me to freestyle something, they're going to get graffiti."
"In my opinion, press-ons feel like a much easier application process," Legend says. "You just stick or glue them on and go." Legend explains that stickers and decals are great but much more of a process, requiring a top coat to seal them. Below, he's sharing his top press-on nail tips.
"First thing, just make sure that you properly dehydrate your nails, clean off your nails with alcohol, and then push your cuticles back," he says. "You don't want to just slap the press-ons right on the cuticle because it'll lift easier." He also cautions you to not use your nails as tools — this will help them last longer.
It probably won't come as a surprise that Legend's most requested nail-art design is a french manicure. "Everybody loves the french tip," he says. "I can never get sick of doing it either. I just always find new ways to give it a little twist."
Legend admits he's "on [TikTok] for hours" looking at nail-art trends trends. His favorite account is @ilysmnails. "I don't know if she's a nail tech or not, but the things she comes up with — it just wows me every single time," he says. "I just find it so creative and very entertaining. I'm just on her page for hours like, 'Dang, what can this girl think of next?'"
"The pandemic definitely opened people's eyes up to different things that they can try on their nails," Legend says. "I mean, we were stuck at home watching all these TV shows and movies thinking, 'OK, we've seen everything on Netflix, what else can we do?' Start experimenting with your nails, of course." He also says people noticed their nails grew out longer, which lead to a desire to try and experiment with at-home nail art.
Looking ahead to summer, Legend predicts the nail-art trends will be anything but boring. "Two colors that I've been loving are magenta and the Bottega green that's been everywhere," he says. "I just love pops of color." As for patterns to look out for, he says, "I've been wanting to try houndstooth — I'm going to start playing around with that print."
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